Century Surety Co. v. Jim Hipner, LLC

Jim Hipner, LLC (Hipner), a trucking company, obtained an umbrella policy from Century Surety Company (Century) that contained a notice provision stating that the insured will notify Century “as soon as practicable” of an occurrence, offense, or injury. When one of Hipner’s drivers produced a multi-vehicle collision (the accident) that resulted in a serious injury, Century filed suit in federal court seeking a declaratory judgment that it did not have an obligation to defend or indemnify Hipner in connection with any claims relating to the accident because Hipner failed to provide written notice “as soon as practicable.” The district court concluded that Century received timely notice under the policy as a matter of Wyoming law. Century appealed, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit certified a question to the Wyoming Supreme Court regarding the enforceability of the insurance policy notice provision. The Supreme Court answered that, under Wyoming law and regardless of the express language of the insurance policy, an insurer must be prejudiced before being entitled to deny coverage when the insured has failed to give notice “as soon as practicable.” View "Century Surety Co. v. Jim Hipner, LLC" on Justia Law